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Comment Think of the children ... (Score 4, Informative) 258

Seriously think about how kids learn how to use and appreciate money - using an ATM card is just not the same as holding coins, counting them, feeling the weight in your pocket.

And (USA I'm looking at you) start including sales tax in advertised prices - explaining to a 5 year old that yes he has enough for that ice cream, but he has to calculate 6% in his head and add that to the price, is just insane

Comment Re:Are you joking? (Score 1) 1368

You are confusing the state budget with the ratio of federal taxes and money received back from the feds - they are quite different things

California's budget is deeply hamstrung by Regan era meddling that makes hard to raise money for simple things like schools - it's the main reason why the state's schools used to be rated #1 in the nation and are now at the bottom

Comment Re:Wow (Score 3, Insightful) 1368

You are quite wrong - look at the real numbers Californian's pay more in taxes proportionally than they receive back in benefits from the federal govt.

It's the bible belt states, Trump's big supporters, who really suck at the teat of federal government, paid for by those very people in California you deride


Comment Re:Of course it should .... (Score 1) 1081

you don't need to change the constitution to get a winner of the popular vote become president - the constitution says the states decide how to choose electors, used to be in some states you didn't get a vote your state govt did, the whole people voting thing is a relatively recent idea - if enough states, those representing at least the number of electors+1, choose to assign all their electors to the winner of the popular vote it simply happens - no constitutional change whatsoever

Comment Of course it should .... (Score 0) 1081

Of course it should - essentially Trump won by an accident of geography ... largely because of a system designed for the days befopre the invention of the telegraph where throwing someone on a horse and sending him off to represent you in the final caucus to vote for the President was the most practical thing to do.

Times have changed, a national vote is completely practical, certainly less unwieldy than sending someone to vote for you.

It's also time we got rid of a system that effectively gives every voter in Wyoming 3 votes for every 1 a California voter gets

Comment Re:You'd think someone as smart as Hawking ... (Score 1) 280

Oh for heaven's sake, the Hawking knows the planet is a sphere, if you use a vertical dipole sure you don't send a whole lot straight up, and you radiate more of your energy horizontally away from the antenna .... and while the photons head out in a donut away from that antenna, which is poking up from the surface of a sphere, as they move away from their source the ground falls away and any photons that don't hit anything ... radiate away into space in that same donut shape, inverse squaring to infinity (and beyond!)

Comment A private NSA competitor (Score 2) 41

So now we have private companies setting up gross hoovering of network traffic worldwide - listening in to all the world's net traffic.

Why was it the powers that be want to get rid of good encryption again? certainly not to protect my credit card data when I buy stuff.

The time for crypto everywhere is now!

Comment Re:"unlock the box" is the wrong apprach (Score 1) 186

I spent a decade building set top boxes, I did the network protocol stack and the crypto .... I've implemented most of the US cable and satellite crypto at one time or an other .... and cablecard too

Most of the US has cable plants built in the US have one of two types of head-ends - built by two different companies - they're very not compatible - if you want to build a set top for a Motorola (or whatever they're called these days) plant you need some Motorola crypto hardware in your box, if you want to build for a SA (or whatever they are this week) plant you need some of their hardware.

Essentially a cablecard is just that particular bit of hardware wrapped around a common hardware/software interface.

So opening up the set top market means what? I guess this hardware and the secret protocol info that goes with it - a set top's going to need both sets of hardware and both sets of software - the rest of the hardware can be shared - the qams and video are mostly the same, the out-of-band tuner can be shared if it's agile enough (simply qpsk transport streams vs davic ATM frames) - it's an enormous amount of work - at least 5 man years from personal experience

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